As snow began falling across the North of England today and with the UK set for the heaviest snowfall in years York will be ready for the bitter freeze thanks to the help of offenders who have been filling salt bins across the city.
Ten offenders have been working across the city filling York’s salt and grit bins ahead of the big freeze as part of the Community Payback scheme.
The scheme, managed by the Humberside, Lincolnshire & North Yorkshire Community Rehabilitation Company (HLNY CRC), has involved teams of people on unpaid work orders filling salt bins from the city walls to side roads.
The team, supported by local HLNY CRC payback supervisor Zack Lunn, has cleaned out more than 150 bins of old salt and litter and then refilled them with new salt.
Community Payback co-ordinator Ed Gray said: “Community Payback is a punishment for breaking the law but it is also a way for offenders to learn new skills and to support their rehabilitation. Working on this and other similar projects across North Yorkshire means offenders not only give something back to the community but it teaches them valuable practical skills which can lead to future employment.”
He added that it was a positive way to ensure the city’s streets were safer when the bad winter weather comes, especially for elderly and vulnerable residents.
City of York Council Executive member for Transport and Planning, Cllr Ian Gillies, said: “The Community Payback programme is a good way for those on probation to have a positive impact and give something back to the local community. It is also helpful to the council by providing a valuable service quickly, efficiently and at no cost to tax payers.”
The Community Payback team has worked each winter with the council for several years to ensure that the city can meet the challenges of ice and snow.
The Community Payback scheme works across a wide range of projects in the community in North Yorkshire renovating community gardens, parks, church yards and schools.
Martin Davies, chief executive of HLNY CRC, said: “Community Payback schemes like the one delivered in York provide a means by which those on probabtion learn new skills to support their future employment prospects and can be seen to be making a positive contribution to society and the community in which they live as part of their rehabilitation.”
*The Community Payback Team in North Yorkshire would like to hear about other projects which residents think will make a real difference to their community. Contact it by emailing [email protected].